Day of General Discussion 2006: To Speak, Participate and Decide - the Child's Right to be Heard

To Speak, Participate and Decide – The Child’s Right to be Heard

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has decided to devote its next day of general discussion to the theme of the child’s right to be heard. The meeting will take place at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday, 15 September 2006 from 10am to 6pm.

The meeting is open to representatives of non-governmental organisations, children and their organisations/networks, UN programmes and agencies, governments and other interested individuals, experts and organisations.

The aim of the general discussion will be to explore the meaning of article 12 and its linkages to other articles of the Convention, focus on identifying gaps, good practices and priority issues and promote child participation at all levels.

  • The first working group will concentrate on the child’s right to be heard in judicial and administrative proceedings including those related to civil and criminal law, family and alternative care, protection, health, immigration status and schooling.
  • The second working group will focus on children as active participants in society in various settings such as family, school, associations and politics. A copy of the outline of the issues to be discussed is attached.

Children's participation

As the theme for this year’s Day of General Discussion is the child’s right to be heard (Art.12), the Committee is particularly keen to hear from, and take into account, the views, opinions and experiences of children. 

A separate registration form has been developed for children and young people and all interested under 18s should complete the attached form and return it by the 1st August deadline. The attendance of under 18s must be sponsored by a responsible national or international agency. All under 18s must be supported by an accompanying adult.

An Interagency group will be facilitating a two-day preparatory Forum for the children attending the Day of General Discussion on 13 to 14 September in Geneva. Further details on this will be communicated over the coming weeks - please check the CRIN website.

Attendance and registration

Due to overwhelming interest, the number of participants at this year’s Day of General Discussion will have to be very limited. For that reason, interested individuals are encouraged to register early or to consider submitting written contributions to the Committee as an alternative way of participating in the discussion and the subsequent process of developing the General Comment on Article 12. For those wishing to register, please note that the deadline has been brought forward to 1st August 2006

All registrations received up until 1st August – from both adults and under 18s - will be considered as expressions of interest but, due to the limited space, the Committee will not be able to accommodate all requests. All requests will be considered taking into account various factors/criteria, including the limited places available, the need for adequate regional representation, diversity of child participation experiences and the participation of children and young people. Confirmation of registration and attendance will be provided by 15th August.

NGO and children's contributions

NGOs and children are invited to submit written contributions for the Day of General Discussion to the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) before 30th June 2006. Contributions will then be posted on the CRIN website. The Committee has issued guidelines on submitting written contributions.


Further information



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